The Structural Object Position of Verbs and Nouns

Tarald Taraldsen

in Functional Heads

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199746736
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949519 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Comparative Syntax

The Structural Object Position of Verbs and Nouns

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  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology


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This chapter proposes a new account of the fact that certain processes involving raising to a higher DP-position are systematically blocked in NPs. It begins by developing an argument that all the relevant processes involve movement to the same position, a “structural object position.” Then, it reviews the evidence that raising to this position is impossible in NPs, and sketches an analysis attributing this to the nature of the nominal functional sequence (i.e., nominals are too small to contain a structural object position). But this kind of analysis is arguably not viable given certain additional desiderata, and ultimately, an analysis is developed according to which nominals do have a structural object position. However, this position is always occupied by a (covert) element of which the noun is predicated, essentially reviving Bach’s (1968) account of NPs as relative clauses.

Keywords: DP; NP; structural object position; nominals; functional sequence; noun; relative clauses

Chapter.  4712 words. 

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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